Have you or someone you love been seriously injured while working offshore? If so, you should not hesitate to contact the experienced admiralty lawyers from Arnold & Itkin LLP as soon as possible. Backed by extensive experience, our firm is proud to have won billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements. We are fully committed to the success of our clients, which can be seen in our testimonials, case results, and more.
We represent all types of injured seamen, including those injured aboard the following:
With the help of our exceptional lawyers, you may be able to recover financial compensation that covers everything from your immediate medical bills to future rehabilitation costs to even lost wages. If you would like to learn more about the ways in which our offshore injury firm can help you, call today for a free consult.
Admiralty law, also commonly referred to as maritime injury law, is the area of law that governs offshore activity. This can include the carriage of goods, mariner insurance, marine salvaging, injuries to passengers and goods by sea, and more. Admiralty law is composed of two parts: laws created as federal statutes and "common law" developed over time by the courts through major court decisions (known as general maritime law).
Some of the most prominent federal maritime statutes include:
In situations where an individual cannot file a claim under federal statute, they may find legal remedies under general maritime law. An example of this may be an individual who suffered an injury while on a recreational boat. General maritime law also provides additional protection to seamen injured while working offshore. If you have questions about whether or not you should bring a statutory maritime claim or a general maritime claim, it is best that you review your case with the help of an experienced admiralty law attorney.
Jurisdiction in admiralty cases is outlined in Article III of the U.S. Constitution and The Judiciary Act of 1789; this extends judicial power of the United States to "all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction." Congress granted district courts original jurisdiction in civil cases of admiralty jurisdiction.
While there are specific cases that can only be heard in federal court, the "saving to suitors" clause allows for state courts to hear an admiralty case when it involves a local matter. Still, the state court is required to apply federal law—not state law—to these claims; this is known as the reverse-Erie doctrine.
If there are no applicable federal statutes, the state court may use uniform laws established by the Supreme Court. If there are no statutes or uniform laws that apply, the state court can adopt state law.
While admiralty law is vast, there are several prominent features, including the following:
Maintenance & Cure
Maintenance & cure is available under admiralty law to any seaman who is injured or falls ill. This is broken into two distinct benefits. Maintenance benefits provide a daily maintenance fee to a seaman for room and board while they are recovering. This can include rent, room, electricity, phone, food, and transportation; most employers pay $15 to $35 per day. Cure benefits cover all reasonable medical expenses related to the injury or illness; these benefits are paid until a doctor decides the seaman has reached "maximum medical cure."
Personal Injuries to Passengers
Shipowners owe a duty of reasonable care to all passengers who are aboard their vessel. Should a passenger suffer an injury through the negligence of the shipowner, they may bring suit under admiralty law.
The Carriage of Goods by Seas Act (COGSA) governs claims involving damage to cargo shipped internationally. One key component of COGSA is that a shipowner can be held liable for any damage to cargo from the loading to discharge, unless exonerated under one of a few exceptions.
Personal Injuries to Seamen
Seamen who are injured while aboard a vessel have several options to recover compensation. They can recover maintenance and cure under general maritime law, they can file a claim for unseaworthiness, or they can file a Jones Act claim. These are all provided as a way to protect the rights of those injured during maritime-related employment.
To learn more about admiralty law, please do not hesitate to contact our maritime law firm today.
Arnold & Itkin represented nearly a third of the crewmembers injured in the Deepwater Horizon explosion.
Because maritime law is so complex and so complicated, it is crucial that you work with an attorney who has an in-depth understanding of how it works and who has proven themselves in similar cases before.